NCR stays under MECQ until Sept. 15; pilot granular lockdown deferred
MANILA, Philippines — The government has deferred its decision to pilot granular lockdowns and easing Metro Manila’s status to general community quarantine, keeping the region’s modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) status until September 15, Malacañang said Tuesday.
The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) recalled its earlier pronouncement as the country continued to record a high number of COVID-19 cases the past few days.
“The Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) deferred the pilot implementation of the General Community Quarantine (GCQ) with Alert Levels System in the National Capital Region (NCR),” IATF and presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said in a statement.
“Metro Manila’s current risk classification as Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ) shall be maintained until September 15, 2021, or until the pilot GCQ with Alert Level System is implemented, whichever comes first,” he added.
With Metro Manila still under MECQ, Roque said indoor and al-fresco dine-in services and personal care services remain closed in the region, including beauty salons, parlors, and nail spas.
Religious services only held online are allowed.
In terms of necrological services, Roque said only immediate family members are allowed to attend as the deceased died of non-COVID-19 causes, adding they must show satisfactory proof of their relationship with the deceased and comply with minimum public health standards.
Metro Manila was supposed to shift to the more lenient general community quarantine starting Wednesday, September 8, until September 30, 2021.
During this period, the region was supposed to pilot the granular lockdown with a four-level alert system which will determine the businesses activities allowed in a certain area.
Under a granular lockdown, the local government units will only restrict the movement of residents in small areas—either a specific building, street, zone, village, and the like where there are high cases of COVID-19.
Specific rules of the shift in strategy were yet to be released as of Tuesday, which was supposed to be the last day of MECQ in Metro Manila.
This, as 18,012 new cases were recorded Tuesday, bringing the country’s total active cases to 158,637.
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